Delicious and fluffy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls topped with a cream cheese frosting, then filled with a cinnamon, brown sugar, and pecan filling. This quick and easy recipe will become your favorite dessert after the first bite!
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Everyone has there own favorite version of a cinnamon roll recipe. Some people love the Cinnabon version. Once you try this recipe you will never care to try Cinnabon anymore. This cinnamon roll recipe has very light and fluffy layers of the sweet rolls. It has a perfect mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecan filling between all the layers. Then that is topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting.
Can I make cinnamon rolls ahead of time?
Yes. You can make these rolls the day before but don’t bake them. Place them in the fridge overnight and bake the next day. You don’t want to have them sit longer than that. The dough will continue to rise and the yeast can go bad.
Can you freeze cinnamon rolls?
Yes. Make sure to cover your homemade cinnamon rolls really well. They can last up to 2 months in the freezer. Prior to baking them, you will want to remove them and allow to thaw in a fridge. Then once they are thawed out you can bake them.
How to make overnight cinnamon rolls
Make the dough the day before you need them. After you latter on the cinnamon and pecan filling, roll the dough and cut them into individual pieces. Then place them into a baking dish and refrigerate until the next morning. These homemade cinnamon rolls go great with a cup of coffee in the morning. Also, make sure to let them get to room temperature before you bake them.
How to make homemade cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon roll dough
Start by making a yeast mixture (warm milk, sugar, and yeast). Stir the yeast mixture until it becomes frothy (about 12 minutes). Now in a stand mixer, you will add, flour, salt, sugar, eggs, the yeast mixture, and butter. Using a hook attachment mix at low speed, then after a few seconds start adding your vanilla extract. Now increase the speed to medium-high until the dough is well combined. Once completed, transfer the dough to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit in a warm place for 1 hour. The dough will be soft and slightly sticky, that’s good. That will produce a nice fluffy roll.
Cinnamon roll filling
Making and cutting your roll of dough
Now place your dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 24 x 16-inch rectangle. Then evenly spread the filling onto the dough. Take your chopped pecans and spread them on top of the filling. Now you can roll up your dough, starting from the longer side. Slice the roll into 2-inch pieces. I prefer a thread over a knife since it gives a cleaner cut. Slide the string under the roll, then wrap around and cut through the dough.
Cinnamon roll bake
Place your individual rolls into a 9×13 baking dish lined with greased parchment paper. Allow rising in a warm place until they double in size (about 30 minutes). Now, bake you homemade cinnamon rolls at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cream cheese icing for cinnamon rolls
While the rolls are baking you will want to make the frosting for your cinnamon roll recipe. In a bowl blend cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, half & half, and vanilla. After your homemade cinnamon rolls are baked, generously spread the cream cheese frosting on top.
More pastries to try!
Watch a video to see how easy it is to make this recipe!
Easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Brown sugar cinnamon filling
Make the dough
- Warm the milk in a large measuring cup to 110 degrees Fahrenheit and add 2 tablespoons of sugar. Give it a quick stir then add the yeast. Let it sit in a warm place until it becomes frothy (about 12 minutes)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add flour, salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, yeast mixture, and melted butter. Set the speed to low, just for a few seconds, then add 1 tsp vanilla extract.
- Using the hook attachment, set the speed to medium-high until all of the dough is combined. A good way to know the dough is done is when it no longer sticks to the sides of the mixer bowl.
Let the dough rise in a greased bowl
- Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl (I used olive oil) and cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm palace for 1 hour. The dough will be soft and slightly sticky, that's what you want to see if you want super fluffy rolls.
Make the cinnamon brown sugar filling
- Meanwhile, beat together 3/4 cup softened unsalted butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1 tbsp cinnamon using an electric mixer. This will be the filling.
Fill the dough and roll it up
- Once the dough is done rising. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a 24 x 16-inch rectangle. Add a little flour on top as needed so the rolling pin doesn't stick to the dough.
- Evenly spread the filling onto the dough. Chop the pecans and spread them on top of the filling. Roll up the dough into a log shape beginning with the longer side.
Slice the rolls and bake them
- Slice the log into 2-inch pieces. You can either use a knife or thin thread. I prefer to use thread, as it gives a cleaner cut.
- Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with greased parchment paper and place the rolls inside. Let the dough rise in a warm place one last time until the dough doubles in size (about 30 minutes depending on temperature). You may have a few extra pieces that won't fit into the baking dish, just place them in a loaf pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Make the cream cheese frosting and add it to the rolls
- While the rolls are baking, in a bowl blend cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, powdered sugar, half & half, and 1 tsp vanilla.
- Once the rolls are baked, generously spread the cream cheese spread on top.
Make ahead instructions
- If you want to make these in advance, you can refrigerate them overnight before the last rise (so right after you place them in the baking dish).
- The next morning, let them come to room temperature for about 1 hour. Then bake as instructed in the recipe.
How to store homemade cinnamon rolls
Room temperatureThey can be left at room temperature for up to 2 days (even frosted), just be sure to cover them with foil or plastic wrap for freshness.
RefrigeratorCinnamon rolls can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week as long as they are kept in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap.
This recipe was originally published on Nov 9, 2015, we have tweaked it a bit since.